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Luke Wolfe & Preparation for Ordination

While many of you know, some of you may not have heard that Luke Wolfe, our Director of Community Groups, has been working toward being ordained as an associate pastor here at Trinity. I realize for many that ordination is a mystery, so I want to try to explain what that means, and ask you to pray for Luke as he gets closer to this milestone.

Ordination is the historic practice in the Church of marking someone off for an office in the church. It is a heightened sense of responsibility along with a higher level of accountability. For instance, a local church can ordain officers (ruling elders and deacons) after they’re trained and examined. But for teaching elders the circle is even wider as they are examined by a combination of elders from other churches within our region or presbytery. Because a pastor’s role carries such influence, these candidates have more thorough exams. It is parallel to how a bar exam follows law school. You can spend years in school but you’re still not a lawyer until you pass the bar. In like manner, a pastor can have years of school and experience but he is still not ordained until he passes these exams.

The reason we want Luke to be ordained as an associate pastor is because that’s how highly we value Community Groups! At Trinity, we believe involvement in a Community Group is essential to the life of our people as we seek to follow after Jesus. When we were in our third year as a church plant our first ministry hire was Timo Strawbridge as Small Group Coordinator. And Timo was a ruling elder. In like manner, Luke’s ordination would maintain our leaders’ belief in the importance of the good work he’s doing with Community Groups.

As Stan McMahan and Josh Floyd both launch new churches in the coming months, it will be important for us to continue investing in the people and mission here at Trinity. Luke’s ordination also will allow him to help with pastoral roles like preaching, baptisms and serving the Lord’s Supper.

Luke is on track to be ordained in early 2018. As that draws near we will continue to communicate with you on his progress, and most essentially, ask for your input. One of the final steps in the process will be for you as a congregation to vote to call Luke to this work as an associate pastor at Trinity. This will be where you vote to authorize him to be ordained, and make the commitment to him to support him, pray for him and follow him as he grows and matures as a leader of our church.

Things to pray for:

–  Encouragement and strength as ordination is a lengthy process. Ask the Father to strengthen Luke throughout this process of training and examination.

–  Diligence and focus for Luke as he works to balance his work with Community Groups and his preparation for ordination. Pray that God will help Luke keep his focus on both responsibilities.

–  Grace for Luke and his family as they enter this busy season. Many of you have combined work with school and this season will feel like that for Luke and Aimee so please pray for both of them.

–  For our church as we prepare to give away two church plants in the coming months. Ask the Lord to work in amazing ways to continue to bring the Gospel to Lakeland and Polk County and to prepare the next generation of leaders.

Tim Rice, Lead Pastor & Director of Church Planting